By Mark Ackerman
DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Department of Education has contacted roughly 1,900 veteran teachers and asked them to resubmit their fingerprints. A 2015 federal audit found thousands of teacher files were missing records of full criminal background checks as mandated by state law.
In a statement, CDE says the “reason the records went missing is unknown” but says something likely went wrong in 2004 when the state law requiring background checks was updated.
CDE estimates 3,000 active teachers licensed from 1997-2003 are impacted. An estimated 1,100 teachers with missing background checks have not been contacted yet.
One teacher received this letter.
CDE spokesperson Jeremy Meyer said, “The missing background checks do not pose a safety risk. This is more of a record keeping problem.”
Meyer explains CBI still has copies of the teachers’ background checks and notifies school administrators if educators are arrested on a weekly basis.
Some teachers voiced concerns fees that they would have to foot the bill for the new fingerprints. From the start, CDE waived its fingerprinting fees. Friday CBI also agreed to waive its $39.50 fee. Educators who already resubmitted their fingerprints and paid the CBI fee will now be reimbursed.
More information from CDE on the fingerprint waiver.